Category: Devotional

The Least & The Greatest

Another day chock-full of all manner of things to dig into, it’s hard to choose where to focus.

I think I want to take a minute and contrast our man Gideon with the previous judge, Deborah. Now, we don’t know either of these people of antiquity overly well, but what I find interesting is how far their stories diverge.

Gideon is not the leader we would expect, being a small man from a small tribe, and Deborah was an unlikely leader just because she was a woman. But God called both of them to lead.

Deborah did not want to go fight, but Barak pleaded with her to join him and so she did, and Israel was successful. Whereas Gideon needed all kinds of proof. Burn this up. And make this wet. And keep this dry. And show me a bizarrely specific interpretation of a WEIRD dream. Gideon needed so much hand-holding by God. But some of us need more prodding than other. This is no shade on Gideon, but then…

Deborah helps Barak to lead a successful campaign and co-writes a victory song with him that both starts AND ends with the Lord. Yahweh. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Gideon leads multiple successful campaigns, accepts fame, donations, takes a multitude of wives, makes a golden Ephod that the people of Israel WORSHIP, and which also becomes a trap for him. One of his sons ends up killing all the others… there were 70.

As a teen (I only accepted Christ at the age of 15, so I never did Sunday School) I heard about Gideon and Samson, but I never heard about Deborah. Gideon had many battles and accomplished great feats. Samson did the same… or did they? The fact is that these were two broken people used by God to accomplish HIS purposes. They actually contributed very little to their own success, but they were more than willing to bask in it.

Yet Deborah goes largely overlooked. Almost like an afterthought… did you know there was a FEMALE judge? Oooh! How unorthodox and wacky! Yet her quiet confidence and upward-facing attitude are what we claim to value most in both our leaders and ourselves.

I guess what I’m driving at is that we ought to remember that the people in the Bible were not special people that God chose. They BECAME special people because God chose them. So let’s not hoist up the ones God used to most brightly reveal His glory (if I am honest, I have very little interest in being like Gideon, or Samson… or Pharaoh). Instead let’s look for those, like Deborah, or Ruth, or Boaz, or Moses who tried to stay humble and honour the Lord with upright actions and a dedication to obedience.

Judges 7:1-9:21 | 092/365